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Out to Sea (1997)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Romance | 2 July 1997 (USA)
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A failed gambler, intent on meeting a rich widow, tricks his widowed brother-in-law into boarding a cruise ship as dance hosts.


Martha Coolidge



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Director: Herb Gardner
Stars: Walter Matthau, Ossie Davis, Amy Irving


Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Lemmon ... Herb Sullivan
Walter Matthau ... Charlie Gordon
Dyan Cannon ... Liz LaBreche
Gloria DeHaven ... Vivian (as Gloria De Haven)
Brent Spiner ... Gil Godwyn
Elaine Stritch ... Mavis LaBreche
Hal Linden ... Mac Valor
Donald O'Connor ... Jonathan Devereaux
Edward Mulhare ... Cullen Carswell
Rue McClanahan ... Mrs. Ellen Carruthers
Alexandra Powers ... Shelly
Sean O'Bryan ... Allan
Esther Scott ... Maria
Allan Rich ... Sebastian
Estelle Harris ... Bridget


Care-free Charlie cons his widower brother-in-law Herb into an expenses-paid luxury cruise in search of rich, lonely ladies. The catch is that they are required to be dance hosts! With a tyrannical cruise director, and the luscious Liz and lovely Vivian, our heroes have lots of mis-adventures before they finally return to port. Written by Derek Picken <dpicken@email.msn.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They were the odd couple who later became the grumpiest old men. Now they're taking it to the high seas. See more »


Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language and sex-related humor | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »





English | Italian | Japanese | Spanish

Release Date:

2 July 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bailando sobre el mar See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,655,948, 6 July 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$27,974,168, 28 September 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Walter Matthau was the oldest member of the main cast members. See more »


20 minutes in when the dancers are lined up behind scenes you can see toe-marks for the talent. See more »


Mac Valor: [Seeing Charlie and Herb dancing together] Don't ask, don't tell.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the first part of the credits, the cast (singly and in pairs) dances; during the latter part, we see outtakes. See more »


Referenced in At the Movies: The Worst Films of 1998 (1999) See more »


Written by Ronald Bell, Claydes Smith, George Funky Brown (as George Brown),
J.T. Taylor (as James Taylor), Robert Spike Mickens (as Robert Mickens), Earl Toon,
, Dennis D.T. Thomas (as Dennis Thomas), Robert Kool Bell (as Robert Bell) and Eumir Deodato
(c) 1980
See more »

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User Reviews

Amusing Follow Up to the Two "Grumpies"
24 July 2005 | by theowinthropSee all my reviews

After the making of GRUMPY OLD MEN and GRUMPIER OLD MEN, the box office success of those two films made it evident that another film property co-starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau was needed. They found one property, THE GRASS HARP, where they shared one scene together. But then this film was made which was fully their film together.

Like most of their films Lemmon is the quiet partner who is dragged into the troublesome situation by the noisy partner Matthau. Here they are brother-in-laws (Matthau's sister, who is dead). Matthau convinces Lemmon that he needs to take a sea cruise to end his long period of mourning. Lemmon does not realize that Matthau got them free passage by signing them onto the cruise as social dancers (partners for elderly lady passengers). Lemmon can dance, but Matthau cannot, and one scene has Lemmon trying to teach Matthau, only to be caught by Donald O'Connor and Hal Linden dancing together (O'Connor and Linden jumping to the wrong conclusion). If they can't pull their weight as social dancers, they will have to pay the $1,500.00 per person fare as travelers. Neither can afford that. Matthau really could not care much about this - he hopes that he will be lucky to find, romance, and marry a wealthy woman. Lemmon is encouraged to do the same, but he is not as mercenary. As it turns out Lemmon does meet Gloria De Haven, and Matthau meets Dyan Cannon (and her mother, Elaine Stritch). But the course to true love is never smooth in movies. Matthau has a rival for Cannon, in Edward Mulhare. And Brent Spiner, the cruise entertainment director, is an evil martinet determined to impress the cruise line owner (Rue McLanahan) to put him in control of all the cruise ship's entertainment centers.

It is a well-cast film, which helps (this is reminiscent of the two "Grumpies" films that preceded it. But those films had better balance to them. They had moments of pathos where one could see Lemmon and Matthau were not just funny men but human types. Here Lemmon is shown to have such a weakness - he has romanced De Haven in spite of his qualms, but at a critical point remembers his deep love for his first wife. But Matthau's personality is so mercenary (a "cousin" to his "Whiplash Willie Gingrich" in THE FORTUNE COOKIE), that his turning into a legitimate lover of Cannon doesn't quite sit well. Nor does it sit well when we find other likable characters can be equally mercenary.

However there are plenty of great moments in the film. Spiner's unplanned involvement with a colorful local parade is one. So is Matthau's ridiculous dance with Rue McLanahan that looks atrocious (he calls his non-steps, "the crawl")but that she enjoys. Spiner, better known as "Mr. Data" the android in STAR TREK, THE NEXT GENERATION, turns in a fine comic villain performance. My only criticism is that Linden and O'Connor seem too peripheral in the plot (although both do give filler about the ruthlessness of Spiner, whom Linden really dislikes). But the film is still very amusing, and worth while seeing. Unfortunately it was not their final film. That would be THE ODD COUPLE II.

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